Friday, December 23, 2011

It's Friday!!

I hope that you all had a great week, getting ready for Christmas. I can't believe that it's in just a few days. No snow on the ground, no hats, scarves or gloves worn yet, and no mention of salt or snow shovel. It certainly doesn't feel like Christmas to me without all of those things.

But, maybe there is something in the lack of traditional Christmas affects around here thus far. I've been questioning the craziness, the stress and the anxiety people feel buying the perfect gift, decorating just-so, and making those oh-so-delicious & beautiful cookies. Why do I need snow, warm fuzzies, cookies and gifts to feel like it's Christmas?

Christmas is about Jesus's birth. We should be celebrating His birthday and counting ourselves blessed because of the gift He's given us. I'm working so hard to fill it with glitz and glam, taking Him completely out of the equation, and missing the true reason we celebrate this time of year.

It's time to slow down, be thankful for what I have, and celebrate the birth of Jesus. Merry Christmas everyone!

 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Goal #2

Another goal I have for 2012 is to learn how to cook…  Honestly, God love Matthew because I am no Betty Crocker. I may be able to clean the whole house top to bottom, without breaking a sweat, still looking stellar (that’s my June Clever coming out), but my cooking skills are that of an infant. I believe that my 7 year old nephews would be able to cook up a better tasting meal.

Let me give you an example of just how shotty my skills are. This summer, I made a FABULOUS pork tenderloin courtesy of Bon Appetit. It was so darn good that Matt raved about it to others and I shared it with the foodie I work with. I was on cloud nine! Then, just a few weeks ago I attempted the chicken roll-ups I found on Jenna’s blog. Big mistake, HUGE! They were awful. Honestly, the dog wouldn’t even eat the bit we gave him. Matt got up from the table and ‘needed a minute’ before he commented on them. Seriously, YUCK!

Truth be told, I loathe cooking. I’m perfectly content cleaning the kitchen from top to bottom and enjoy the smell of bleach much more than a well cooked meal. As I’ve said before, Matt is the cook. His palette is second to none that I’ve met thus far. His taste buds are so in tune with every stinkin’ piece of meat, spice, side dish, wine pairing, etc. that it makes me totally gag. His brother has this gift too, yet I’m partial to Matt’s geniousness; they should really quite their day jobs and open a restaurant. I digress.

So why, you ask, is my goal for me to learn how to cook?  Me, the girl who would be perfectly happy with the Yuengling and 5 oreo truffles I had for “dinner” a few nights ago while Matt worked uber late. Shouldn’t he be our cook if he’s so darn swell at it? I’d love to say yes, you’re right! But, the truth is when “the cook” doesn’t get home from work until 7:30 or 8:00 there is little time before stomachs start growling and the FEED ME NOW look comes out.

Since I don’t want to have another YUCK episode, I need to connect with skills that are buried somewhere deep inside of me and become a The Cook of our household. They must exist if I can rival a BA recipe, but where they heck did they go the night of the chicken roll-ups?!?!

I’ve been doing well this week, so far. I didn’t plan ahead one bit (hence the Krogering last night) but both meals went well. Only minor adjustments were made to each recipe, (may in fact be my downfall) but we enjoyed both meals.

Tuesday I made Individual meat loves, mac & cheese and veggies. Last night I made baked ziti. Matt went back for seconds so I consider them both a success. Hopefully, this winning streak won’t end tonight. Not sure what’s on the menu yet, but I’m keeping it simple for now. NO MORE disasters please!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Spend Wisely

My dad and I have a lot in common. We are both quite tall and awkward at times. We love every type of sport and enjoy watching or participating in them. We’re competitive and loyal, considerate and giving. We think the same. We act the same. We even get sick, mostly with sinus infections, the same time (and we live 3 hours away). We are also both in charge of our family’s finances. That last similarity is uber S-C-A-R-Y to me. I, the girl who screwed up so much in college you’d swear the character Becky Bloomwood was based on me, am now in charge of money for my family. Goodness Gracious Lord Almighty!?!?

It hasn’t been an easy road: I’ve made budgets then tossed them out the window as I’m driving to the mall.  I’ve built up our savings just to deplete it twice as fast. I’ve stumbled. I’ve crashed and oh, how I’ve burned.

A few weeks ago, as I was starting the “savings build up” again anticipating the depletion, something sort of clicked. I felt a “one day at a time” attitude, cheering me on, giving me hope. I’ve always had the best of intentions, but let’s face it. That’s about as far as I’ve ever gotten.

So, in an act of sheer obedience (trust me when I say I did not want to do it), I asked one of my girlfriends to pray for our finances. Nothing outlandish like having X amount by such and such a date, but just plain and simple prayer for our household finances. Let me be honest about the obedience thing, I do not want to admit to others that I am the spender in my family, regardless of how "funny" it is. And I would never tell how much I have not saved up. However, the past few weeks (okay, months) I've felt a nudge to ask my friends for prayer. Finally, I swallowed my pride and did it.

I'd love to say "and they lived happily ever after" but that's a make believe ending. This is just the beginning.

Monday, our small group leaders asked us to write out 4 goals for 2012 and "control of finances / spending / writing out and STICKING to a budget" is one of mine. I've read other bloggers challenge themselves to "spending fasts" and think it is a great idea. We hardly eat out during the week so I should be curbing the extra grocery shopping, sticking to the meal plan, and stop grabbing that cup o’joe because I need to get out of the office. My Financial goal for 2012 is to have $5,000 in the savings by years end and stick to a bi-weekly budget.

Today, I bought the last two Christmas gifts on my list and stopped at Kroger for ingredients to make baked ziti. Please note that bought rigatoni noodles instead; I need to SLOW DOWN! In all, just under $100 (those gifts were expensive!). Hopefully tomorrow will be a big goose egg!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving pictures

We hosted my husband's side of the family this year for Thanksgiving and it was so much fun! We prepared the house and food all week and it turned out great. Here are some of the pictures my lousy camera phone too, plus some good ones from Matt's iPhone.

Getting the Big Green Egg ready for Tom, the turkey
George got cold!
The table & buffet
mid-morning, we found George's hiding spot!
halfway there!

Pumpkin dessert that Matt & my father-in-law loved!!
Right before Tom came off the grill!

I didn't get any pictures after everyone arrived, 1.5 hours early, but we had an absolutely fabulous day and LOTS of leftovers filled up both our fridges. We're already talking about next year's menu!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ask and ye shall receive...

If you can't tell I had help and figured out the blog bug. Thank goodness!!

I took this whole week off work in hopes that I'd clean from top to bottom, entertain for Thanksgiving, then decorate for Christmas, but I've had the world's worst cold (I know, that makes me sound like a wimp) the last few days and things aren't going according to plan. Yes, I hear God laughing right now too :c)

I've been cleaning here and there, but I have no motivation for an all out clean as I has hoped for so I've called in reinforcements. Thankfully, I have a great mother-in-law who's always willing to help, one sister-in-law who is just like me (neat and tiddy) and another sister-in-law who likes my company. My, how times have changed! Two years ago when it was a Guido/Exton Thanksgiving I didn't listen to anyone except my mom and aunt when it came to food and was completely convinced that no one could clean like Jim Guido. I'm so looking forward to setting the table, watching Matt cook the turkey on the Big Green Egg as I bake my little heart out, and sharing an excellent day with my in-laws.

Hopefully, I'll remember to take pictures of the table because I have put a lot of work into the decorations. Remember, cooking is SO not in my blood but I can host an affair to remember.

There is the buzzer for the pumpkin cake. I'll leave you with our dinner / events calendar for the week:
Monday: pizza & Young Marrieds
Tuesday: leftovers (pizza, chicken pot pit [that I made FROM SCRATCH last week], etc.)
Wednesday: lasagna; take the car in (again); clean, clean, clean & set up the dining room table
Thursday: TURKEY DAY!!
Friday: lights at the zoo with family & Bob Evans for dinner (an Exton tradition)
Saturday: Breaking Dawn with Rachel, Katie & Mary; OSU v UofM game; leftovers from the 19 lb bird we bought at Costco at $0.99 a lb!!

Happy Thanksgiving all!!

FRUSTRATED

I have tried to change the design of my blog SO MANY TIMES because I keep seeing a "Upgrade to Pro Today" icon blocking elements on my page. UGH... why does this frustrate me so much? Why can't I fix it? And, why can't I find a "help me" button to contact blogger?? Seriously, I would like an 800 number to call so that someone can help me get rid of it.

So, all of this frustration has made me stay away from posting. And, since I'm not particularly found of change and I don't like the way my blog looks, I also haven't been reading my regular blog role.

I need to figure this out...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What I've Learned Wednesday



• Homemade is much better than store bought, even when you mess something up. I’ve learned how to make some of the essentials like pizza dough, pie crust, bread, spaghetti sauce, and pizza sauce. Now, I’m working on perfecting them and making different varieties. Although it’s work, it’s SO much more gratifying then opening the can/pkg I paid too much for at the store.


• LOVE THE ONE YOUR WITH with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength! I know this is that way we should love God, but think about it. If we follow this for our relationship with our heavenly father, why not with the number 2 man on our list? That way, Satan will have no opportunity to find cracks in your relationship.

• By definition, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

• Matt doesn’t like Grandma’s pumpkin chocolate chip cookies; however he’ll eat two or three with a glass of milk before he’s done reminding you of that!

• The EAS is testing nationwide today for 30 seconds. This has never been done before. Do you think they know something is about to happen??

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fix it and forget it!

Last week I painted my nails a blueish purple. Actually, it is OPI blue Suzi Says Feng Shui mixed with Mary Kay Chocolate Spice (yes, that last bottle is an OLD one!) When I bought the blue, I thought that I would like it but it's TOO blue so I needed to fix it before wearing it.

As I was painting my nails, I thought about how I do this a lot; "fixing" things.

In middle school and high school I used to take out the hem because they were 'too short' and cut the bottoms open because they were 'too tight' and didn't fit over my shoes. In college I would make shorts and capris out of pants I'd grown weary of, long sleeves short, cut off turtle necks and sew on patches.

Within the last few years I've started 'fixing' with more than just scissors. I've been using my sewing machine, acquiring all sorts of fabrics and coordinating threads, and actually have more than one pair of good scissors. And yes, this DIY soul has actually taken in a few tutorials, not relying on just my own expertise any longer.

After repurposing a few clothes and making my own bag, I've learned that using the right tools with the right knowledge seems to make my 'fixes' easier, better, and more reliable.

It's sort of that with life too, isn't it?

Dinner Plans for this week:
Monday: cheesy buffalo chicken & veggies *Matt had seconds, and thirds! I won't dare call this a casserole E-V-E-R. that will be the end of his liking it.
Tuesday: lasagna roll-ups (but I'll be using lean ground beef and homemade sauce)
Wednesday: pizza (homemade dough)
Thursday: pumpkin crusted chicken, sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts
Friday: TBD / leftovers??
Saturday: out for a surprise birthday party!!

*It may still be too blue, by the way. The verdict's not in yet*

Thursday, October 27, 2011

He's last minute; I'm year in advance

I LOVE CALENDARS!! Big ones, colorful ones, ones that go on the desk, hang on the fridge / wall, and ones that fit in my purse. I will definitely take a free one from the meat market and enjoy the ones Grandpa Koch gives to me. I have a Franklin Covey at work, I have an everyday one that I made on Snapfish, and 'we' have one that hangs on fridge. Last night, I even told Matt that it was a good idea for him to share his work calendar with me. Okay, I'll honest. I may actually have a calendar hording problem. BUT, I love calendars because they help me plan, remind me of important events, and provide us with opportunities for "free time."

Matt, on the other hand, is not a planner nor does he share my love of calendars. He's last minute and I'm year in advance. When we were first married, you can imagine he was overwhelmed by my great love of planning. "What is that pad of paper hanging on the fridge? Why do you keep printing out weekly schedules? And, can you please explain why you keep asking me what I want for dinner next week during Tuesday breakfast?"  Ha, oh it makes me laugh out loud thinking of this!

One great thing about "learning how to be married" is through bumps and bruises, we have met in the middle on lots of things, this 'planning issue' included. I've committed to speaking to him before putting something on the social calendar. He helps with the grocery list Saturday morning before our trip to the store. And, last night during my "you need to share" plea (maybe it was a whine), we agreed that Mon-Thurs is hectic enough without trying to add Friend Dinner Dates; those can be resevered for the weekend and written in my planner.


I do write down the meal plan and stick that on the fridge, but don't get bent out of shape if we end of up having Monday's dinner on Wednesday.

Here is this weeks Menu Plan: (yes, I'm aware it's Thursday, but I'll still share)

Monday: dinner with small group (sloppy joes... YUCK!)
Tuesday: mustard pork chops (Bon Appetite)
Wednesday: Cheesy Sour Cream chicken (SUPER easy and Matt actually likes it!)
Thursday: steaks, mashed potatoes, and green onions
Friday: dinner with friends
Saturday: wedding reception

And, here are my goals for this week with updates from the last list:
1. organize decorations to get ready for fall *the house looks great!
2. purchase pattern and start my Abby Tote *it is my new favorite bag!!
3. Find WGW leaders for January event
4. Find next book to read. Any suggestions?
6. Lunch with Helene & Mary to start our new bible study
7. Talk to Judy about quiting Lily's *this one is going to be tough, but it's definitely the right decision. I'm getting more involved with WGW and know that is where God wants me.


Oh, I know that this is already a LOOOOOOOOOOONG post, but just an update on exercising / working out. Amanda and I have found some awesome new work outs, that we're loving, on pinterest. Plus, we're still doing the Ripped in 30 with Jillian. I think I'm in the best shape of my life and loving it! I'm working on not getting bent out of shape when my body changes because of kids; that might take a lot of coaching.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What I’ve Learned Wednesday

I’m taking a cue from some of the other blogs I read and creating a WILW schedule, I hope. I’ve learned so much since becoming a wife and turning 30 that I don’t want to forget it. Also, someday I hope that I my failures / mistakes and praises / triumphs can help others. Mainly I’d like to help the girls that I don’t have, but that’s a whole other ‘schedule.’

  •  save, Save, SAVE!! The earlier you learn this lesson, the more financial freedom you will have. 
  • Live each day as your last. No really… I mean it. If you keep a mindset of ‘any day now’ you’ll love more, argue less, and look at the world differently than those around you. We weren’t meant for this world anyways. Remember, it is nothing compared to what heaven will be like. 
  • Grandma Reeher’s ruby ring wasn’t real, but she wore it every day. My parents gave it to me for my 31st birthday. So now, so will I. 
  • Speaking of Grandma Reeher, no matter what my mom says she was pretty neat. She was a whiz in the kitchen: cooking up a storm, baking the best brownies, making pies from the berries she picked in the backyard at the lake. She was completely domestic! She may have only been 4 foot nothing but she was special. I wish that I would have learned more from her before she passed away. 
  • Act on those feelings inside of you, even if it feels funny. Chances are God has a blessing for you in them.
  • Don’t hold back an ‘I love you squeeze’ or holding hands in church because ‘he doesn’t like that.’ You’d be surprised at how your man reacts to your slightest touch.
  •  Don’t play with your ring! You may just lose it at work, freak out for a short second, and contemplate asking your boss to come to your cube to ‘help you look.’ Then, on your way to his office, realize it fell in your cardigan pocket and look foolish just standing in his doorway.

 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall Decorations

I have the day off today and finally figured out how to get my crappy cell phone pictures uploaded and on the blog. Hopefully I'll get a new phone soon!

Here are mall fall decorations. Again, please forgive the crappy photos and the funny background / home decor. Other than changing the mantle (not the picture), the piano, and the table I'm somewhat limited.

Enjoy!




And, decause these two are so cute and my two favorite guys, and because they both just celebrated birthdays (George turned 4 last Tuesday and Matt's birthday is today), here's one of my favorite pictures of them. We were getting ready for the OSU v U of M game last yearl!
 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Need more time...

Okay, so I definitely didn't get to #10 on my "to do" list last week, but I felt like it was a successful week non-the-less.

I've been cheering one of my bestest friends on, via texts, in her endeavor of qualifying for golf. I'm not entirely sure where she's ranked or if she's going to make "pro" status by doing this, but I'm cheering and praying her on! She's been on my strongest rocks since God made us friends. I'm not entirely sure that I could do 'life' without her.

Westgate Women has also been gaining momentum. My co-lead and I have very similar ideas, with lots of head nods and "oh yeahs" during our conversations that it's not a coincidence. God is doing amazing things in our church and in our lives.

Again, if I could just back into the swing of I'd be a happy camper. Our house isn't messy to most standards, but the OCD in me is on high-alert because my drawers need special attention. I feel like we need to spring clean even though I did that just a few months ago. I have a plan of how I'm going to rearrange the kitchen cabinets, yet I haven't been able to do it yet. Again, that OCD thing is sort of driving me crazy lately.

So, since I'm killing time before 'quittin' time' I'm going to again take a queue from Mandy and do this week's partial meal plan and goals. Here we go:
Menu Plans this week:
Tuesday: Cheesy Sour Cream chicken, homemade mac & cheese, and steamed veggies
Wednesday: leftovers from the weekend
Thursday: lamb chops, mashed potatoes, and asparagus
Friday: homemade pizza with chicken feta sausage, Alfredo sauce, and artichokes on the Big Green Egg (best pizza ever) *this didn't happen last week so I'm hoping that it will this Friday
Saturday: dinner at friends
Here are my goals for this week. Some I didn't get to from last week, some are in continuation of the ones I did last week, some are just plain needed:
1. organize decorations to get ready for fall
2. organize dresser drawers
3. purchase pattern and start my Abby Tote
4. catch up with Helene / pray for her
5. finish Created to Be His Helpmeet and find next book to read
6. save $50 spending fast! (don't spend money until Saturday)
7. start "the morning efficiency project" - this will help me be more effective in the a.m. before work.

Okay... it's 1 minutes past quittin' time. I'm outta here!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekly Menu and Goals

Hi all! We've been enjoying the nice weather, gone on a few trips, and been super busy the last month. I can't believe how time flies!!

Two very fun things to update you on is that I now have finished my first month at two jobs and, with a few bumps, it's going well. I had to cut down my availability so that I didn't overlook my household duties or so that Matt & George feel my absence as much. Like I said, a few bumps but work in progress. I also  accepted a volunteer leadership position at church and couldn't be MORE psyched about it. Me and another gal, who I knew in college, are co-leading the women's ministry at church!! Seriously, I am tickled pink and loving every minute of it so far. We have a lot of work to do, with restructuring a few things and a big kickoff for something new scheduled in January. Oh, it's going to be awesome!! God is doing some amazing stuff at Westgate and I'm so blessed to be a part of it.

Okay, now if I could just back into the swing of blogging. To start things off, I'm taking a queue from Mandy at Biblical Homemaking and will do this week's meal plan and goals. Here we go:


Menu Plans this week:
Monday: Wanchai Ferry Kung Pao Chicken *we have Young Marrieds and I didn't prepare, so we need something quick and simple. I know... FAIL!
Tuesday: Paula Deen's lots o'meat lasagna with my homemade sauce, steamed veggies, and Janelle's cheesy garlic bread *this meal is a big deal to me. Matt didn't really like pasta when we first got married [WHAT!?!?], but I'm slowly turning him to the light*

Wednesday: TBD - any ideas??
Thursday night is STEAK NIGHT! I love MEExton Steak Nights :c) *Friend's may be coming over to enjoy in the gourmet cooking*
Friday: homemade pizza with chicken feta sausage, Alfredo sauce, and artichokes on the Big Green Egg (best pizza ever)
Saturday: dinner at St. Catherine's festival with friends. *have I ever mentioned that we live next to a Catholic church? This is the craziest weekend in our neighborhood.

And, here are my top 10 goals for this week:
1. workout everyday, including the weekends!
2. organize decorations to get ready for fall
3. purchase pattern and start my Abby Tote
4. purchase card for my camera so I can start living up this blog!
5. make Matt's fav cookies, pizza dough, pie crust
6. catch up with Helene
7. finish Created to Be His Helpmeet and find next book to read
8. save $50
9. start "the morning efficiency project" - this will help me be more effective in the a.m. before work.
10. blog one more time before Friday

happy Monday all!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Problem...

I have a problem. I mean it, a big problem.

Let me say that I’ve been trying very hard not to complain lately. I don’t want to be “that girl” because let’s face it, no one likes her and it's not fit for a lady to do. Unfortunately for this ‘grass is greener, can get lost in the moment, sometimes envious’ soul, it can be difficult at times. Some days it gets the best of me and I find myself traveling down that rabbit hole.

Today has been one of those days. So, right here; right now I am going to complain.

As I pass the time in the “famine of summer 2011,” waiting for a new project to start up or come back to life, I have come across quite a few amazing blogs. There have been so many fabulous projects I want to try and baking, oh the baking… they would make my soul smile and our house so cute, but no… I’m stuck in a 10+ year old black mesh chair, staring at drab speckled gray and blue cube walls listening to KLove on my earbuds daydreaming about those projects and our magic chef oven because I work a 9-5 ridiculously boring job that I totally dislike.

Yes, in the oh-so glamorous world of market research this girl is wasting time day dreaming about NOT being here and today I’m complaining about it.

I’m pinning like crazy and writing to do lists for tonight, tomorrow, this weekend… This may have been stirred up because last night, my normally focused and controlled husband turns to me to say “maybe we should buy a house after the next loan is paid off instead of waiting another year.” W-H-A-T! Before he gets his second sentence across his lips, I’ve already packed up our boxes, picked out new bedroom linens (and a cute lamp for the nightstand), painted the sunroom a fabulous shade of yellow to match the wicker furniture I found at a rummage sale, and…

With all of the fun decorating going on in my head, you might ask why does this make me dislike my job a bit more today? Well, when we talked about our goals just after we were married the list included (in order) live in grandpa’s house to pay off credit cards, pray off cars loans, pay off student loans, buy a house, try for a family and QUIT my F/T job! We have been stuck on “pay off student loans” for quite some time that his mention of seriously looking at houses has my head spinning. All I can think about right now is quitting my job!!

Ugh! This doesn’t bode well for the rest of the week’s productivity. I need to take a cue from the dog...



"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:14

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mined for gold

"Men are developed the same way gold is mined. When mining for gold several tons of dirt must be moved to get one ounce. But one doesn't go into the mine looking for dirt - one goes in looking for GOLD. And, the more he looks for, the more he finds." -Andrew Carnegie


I remember the day I first read this quote; however I don't remember exactly where I saw it. It was one of those “Oh, he (aka – the hubs) so needs to hear this. It explains EVERYTHING!” I wrote it out and posted it on my cube wall for those days I needed to be reminded that living with my man is-a-process.

Little did I know what God would do to me as I was attempting to mined my husband.

As I’ve told you all before, I read The Power of a Praying Wife almost every day. At first, it was tough to swallow my pride and pray for a man who had just made my blood boil. It was difficult to pray without adding “change him Father” thoughts at the end. I shrugged off my need to be cleaned because I was singing and praising God at church, I was in a woman’s bible study, I was reading and applying every marriage book known to woman, I was the positive, loving one, I was… (you get the picture). Sure, I’ll listen to Stormie Omartian and I’d pray for my husband just so God could do wonders in his life. Then, he’d see just how great he had it!

As I prayed for my husband, read more marriage books and found more Christian blogs, I noticed that God’s word became wall paper in my cube and in my heart. The pictures of family and friends became less important as I would look to God’s word for smiles, comfort, love, and safety.

As I prayed for my man’s mind, fears, and attitude to be changed by God my mind, fears, and attitude seemed to change. As I dug further into the dirt, I found little specs of gold in me I never knew existed. God began show me more beauty in my life, stronger faith that would move mountains, grace, forgiveness, righteousness and strength, and most importantly LOVE in a damaged heart.

What started out as an “I’ll show him how great of a prayer warrior I can be” attitude with a little, okay big chip on my shoulder, turned into an amazing love for and friendship with a man I now admire and look to for leadership.

I am so thankful God decided to show the gold in my life as I vengefully dug through the dirt I thought was my husbands. Through storms and torn hearts, laughter and love I will praise an amazing God who continually mineds my development and shows me gold.



Thursday, August 4, 2011

Check Her Out

Katie at Dashing Dish is hosting a great give-a-way. She's been such an inspiration to me and really helped me look at food differently. From lemon drop cupcakes to her fabulous shake ideas, the recipes are fab-u-lous!

Thanks Katie for following God's will and sharing your knowledge with us. And THANKS so much for the give-a-way!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Challenging

I've been reading my old posts and realized that I haven't done a 30 Days post in quite some time. Some of you may be thinking that I gave up on exercising and enhancing my walk with God, but that is SO NOT TRUE! I am proud to say that I have worked out almost every work day since Easter (go me!) and I've been soaking up His word like a sponge.

When I started Reshaping It All and picked up the 30 day shred, I found a gal at work who was starting it at about the same time. We instantly clicked! Amanda and I are both tall, were active in high school basketball, and enjoy a good workout. Lots in common; something I've been missing since my old cube mate Emily left last April. Anyways, we became workout buddies, challenging each other every work day and have been moving through the videos together. A few weeks ago we decided it was time for more of a challenge so we bought Jillian's Ripped in 30 and 6-week six pack. Today was day two of Ripped... OH BOY! A challenge we did find...

Also during my 30 day challenge / RIA, as I was dreaming of what God would do with my life I started to get restless at my job again. So, I prayed for God to reveal His plan. If I was to find a new job, I asked that He hit me with it hard. Or, if I am to stay here and suck it up, give me peace and send a FREIGHT TRAIN because I'm a bit stubborn and block headed. I found a few potential full time jobs; one I thought was my ticket out of dodge and *bonus* one of my close friends worked there. It ended up not being for me but through my search and after two short, but super sweet interviews (topped off with a hug from the owner), I did find a part time job at Lily's, this cute shop at one of our outside malls.

*side note: have I ever mentioned that one of my love languages is Physical Touch? Did God put this P/T right in my path or what?!*

I also recently picked up Created to Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl. If you have ever struggled in your marriage and seek something more for your life partner, this is a great book! One of my all time favorite ladies recommended it to me on the night we got engaged. I borrowed it from the library and got through chapter 5 or 6, I think, before it was overdue and needed to go back. It was corny and 'not for me.' Two years later I am blessed to have that book in my hands and a friend to talk thru it with. Pouring over scripture and making lists, I'm discovering how God can make our marriage glorious! *Lori over at Always Learning is another great resource on this as well*

Okay, enough updates for now. Time to pack up, head home and make dinner. Oh... and I'm getting much better at wanting to cook as well (one of my "Matt" goals). Pray for tonight's dish; Monday's was sort of blah!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The second part of the goal setting challenge at Total Woman Tuesdays is to break down our annual goals into measurable and attainable short-term goals. I sort of did this when I came up with my goals, so here is the ways in which I'm going to meet my goals:
1. I have grown closer to the Lord:

a) Read P31 daily devotional (find another daily devotional)
b) Attend our Young Marrieds and Women’s bible studies
c) Read Christian blogs
d) Read the New Testament
e) Pray for / find a mentor

2. I have become Matt's helper:
a) Read The Power of a Praying Wife daily
b) Read Created to be his Helpmeet before Matt’s birthday
c) Ask Matt specific prayer needs
d) Pray for his protection as he's on the road and in the courts / jails.
e) Keep a clean house, which includes ironing without complaining
f) Cook by making one dinner / dessert out of bon appétit
g) Plan a monthly date night

3. I have built up our savings:
a) Clean Amy's house
b) $50 from every paycheck into savings
c) Talk over purchases with Matt before spending
d) Stick to the budget!
e) Find a second source of extra income

4. I have maintained a healthy lifestyle:
a) Workout everyday on my lunch hour
b) Start running (with Matt, I hope)
c) Eat only one or two sweets a week; nothing more
d) Read six ‘fun’ books
e) Learn how to can fruits and veggies

5. I have helped another woman / wife find their self worth:
a) Pray for God’s will with women’s ministries as I’m not entirely sure what God has in store
b) Be involved with Westgate Women’s ministry team
c) Attend eWomen’s conference in the fall

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Goal Setting

I'm joining up with Brittany, one of my favorite bloggers, for her newest mini-series. She's challenged us to name five goals we would like to be true of us a year from now. I have had many goals throughout my life, but the ones that include my heavenly father, my husband / family, and finances have been at the top of my list for a while. Some of them are similar to Brittany's which is why I think I enjoy her blog.

In no particular order, my five goals are:
1. I have grown closer to the Lord. I plan to achieve this by reading His word everyday, book by book, and meditating on his word.

2. I have become Matt's helper. I believe that God created Eve to be Adam's helper and I want to live this out in and outside of our home, for my husband. Outside of the home, I plan to do this by reading The Power of a Praying Wife everyday (lifting Matt up in prayer), asking Matt what his specific prayer needs are each day, and praying for his protection as he's on the road and in the courts / jails. In the home, I plan to keep a clean house, learn to be a better cook, and smile / laugh when he's around.

3. I have build up our savings. I plan to do this by sticking with the budget we came up with and not spending money frivolously. I will work hard at saving the money from cleaning Amy's house to put into the savings.

4. I have maintained a healthy lifestyle. I plan to do this by continuing to workout everyday on my lunch hour and start running (with Matt, I hope). I also want to gain control over my sweet addiction and cut down to one or two sweets a week; nothing more.

5. I have helped another woman / wife find their self worth. This has always been a passion of mine. I plan to do this by speaking God's truth, showing God's word and love to other women, and becoming a friend. I desperately want other women to feel worthy of God's calling on their lives and to live up to their potential with His help. I am not entirely sure what God has in store with this, but I do know through prayer I will follow His will.

If you'd like to join us in this mini-series, share your goals! *I'd say "link-up" but I don't know how to do that on my blog, yet. I'm a work in progress.*

Happy Total Women Tuesday Ladies!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Love your neighbor

"For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:14

An email from my dad this morning:
A Holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, 'Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.' The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in.

In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, Which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, 'You have seen Hell.'

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The holy man said, “I don't understand.” “It is simple,” said the Lord. “It requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other. The greedy think only of themselves.”

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Another one bites the dust...

Last year, many marriages around us seemed to fall apart. Of those we saw on the rocks only one couple is still living together, yet they don’t share the same bed and divorce is a word uttered often. Watching them fall apart doesn’t sit well with my soul. It makes me wonder how they got there and confused as to why they didn’t fight for each other. It causes me to doubt marriage and love and relationships and, I’m embarrassed to say it, God.
This past week, I’ve learned that one more marriage is over. Separated for a year, both hearts are broken or hardened to the other. Thoughts of hatred fill their heads instead of a glimpse of reconciliation. They are moving on, seeing other people and ‘happier now than ever before.’ I learned of this broken marriage and cried. Oh Lord, how can this be??

I know that it can be tough at times. We have an enemy who wants us to fail. In the heat of the moment, Satan loves to bring awful thoughts to the surface. He laughs as tempers flare, harsh words are said, tears shed and doors slammed. He rejoices as one more divorce attorney is called, knowing that his hold on this couple is good and tight. I look at these couples, once happy and in love, friends who’ve now become strangers and I cringe to think that one more number to add to the ever increasing divorce rate.

Then, I have days like today! Days when God leads me through His word, arming me with a weapon the devil has no power over. Sweet memories of our wedding day fill my heart. I twirl my wedding ring and thoughts of the man I’m crazy about drown out Satan’s temptations. The Lord leads me to write down verses on index cards, read words of those who have weathered the storm, and gives me prayers for my husband, for myself, and for our marriage. He reminds me to remain in Him (John 15:4), seek first His kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33) take captive every thought (2 Corinthians 10:5) and think on things that are pure, lovely, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).

When I open God’s word I am reminded that we do have an enemy who has come to kill, steal, and destroy, but I am also aware the Lord has give me authority over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19) and, with that authority, I’m going to fight against anything that tries to destroy what God has put together.

I will forever carry The Power of a Praying Wife with me. My copy is ‘loved’ with a binding that is shot but it talks about the number one weapon we have against the one who has come to kill, steal, and destroy. In the first chapter at the bottom of one of the first pages, Stormie Omartian urges us to say “I will not allow anything destroy my marriage.” Today, as I think about that marriage broken, I will say that out loud for all to hear.

*Please excuse my play on words with the title.*

Thursday, June 30, 2011

This old house

We live in a fabulous home! It's been such a blessing in our young married lives to have the opportunity to live in my husband's grandpa's unoccupied home. This house is one of the neatest places I've lived in since I left home. I just love it! It has lots of character and history; such a wonderful story to tell those who will take the time to stop and listen. There are pictures of generations before us hanging on the walls & adorning the mantle. The antique furniture has hosted many a family gathering and the wood trim has heard much laughter and supported a few tears.

Lately though, all of the love that I have for these vintage walls hasn't been able to keep joy/contentment in this Exton household, especially not in this female mind. When I have bad days, I so want to chalk it up to living in a borrowed home, stating that my soul is stuck in 'unrest' because I want to be free to nest, I long for beautifully decorated bedrooms and a kitchen with countertops (and a dishwasher), I can almost see then day when we slip off our robes and climb into the giant cozy king bed... Oh, I'm getting carried away in my dreams again!

A conversation about bringing home a new baby or hearing about new curtains another girlfriend bought always comes right before "the look..." You might not know the one I'm talking about, but it's always followed with a "you've got to get out of that house!" My sin snickers as my thoughts agree. "Why AM I still in this ancient house?" I wallow in it for a little bit and I may even stir up a fight because my needs are not being met and why should I have to suffer this way.

Then something happens. I see the picture of my grandparents dancing together next to the sewing of unfinished projects. The Magic Chef oven assists in yet another baking project and thoughts of Grandma Koch run through my mind. As I'm walking down the stairs with a load of laundry, the basket hits the drapes, knocks off a piece of the plastic curtain rod and we belly laugh as George plays with it.

I realize that 'paint the walls red' girl is still there, waiting to be let lose on her own house, but I do not want to lose site of the the lessons learned since we've been here. I treasure the conversations I have with God while doing the dishes (and staring at the catholic church next to us). I want to always remember the dinners we've had, both bad (made by me) and FAB-U-LOUS (made be 'the chef'), and the laughs we've shared in our little breakfast nook. The walks we take in the evenings. The neighbors we've met. The St. Catherine's festivals we've survived. The feeling of being "just the three of us in this old house."

So, when I next see "the look" I pray that I can remember I'm right where God wants me, living out His will for my life, and nothing could be better.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

God is Good!!

Wait a minute… it’s June. How did that happen!?!? Wasn’t it just cold and rainy? And, I swear that I was sporting one of my favorite sweaters just last week. Where did this heat come from?? It’s been in the high 80’s this week in OH. The dog is panting so hard he’s about to give himself an asthma attack. And let’s not even talk about the sweat rolling down my legs as I wash those darn dinner dishes. PHEW, I’m tired just thinking about the heat. (I need a minute)

Beginning year number three in a house with not many modern updates, you learn to live differently. No dishwasher means I must be disciplined in staying on top of chores as I resist the urge to sit in front of the TV after dinner. Walking to the basement for our everyday shower means that I must get over my fear of creepy crawlers as I put on my robe and slippers to head downstairs. No central air means that I must be transformed and get creative… summer heat is NOT the enemy!!

Thankfully Matt put the window unit in Monday, with a little help from me, and our bedroom feels as good as walking into an icebox, if that’s even possible. Oh, it is so refreshing! At the end of the day, we sit on the couch hot and sticky, not moving and forget about the joy of snuggling, as we watch that massive TV (we had to buy) and enjoy the Direct TV (we had to get). Then, we travel upstairs for bedtime and BAM! Life changing, mood altering, sweet refreshing C-O-L-D.

Honestly, just like that, when you open the door you are reborn. Have you ever had moments like that in your life? Today I am reminded of God’s word in Matthew 7:7 as I think about opening that door at night. When it gets close to bedtime and the show starts to wind down, I get a little anxious as I think about the icebox that has become our bedroom. I say a little prayer before I ascend the stairs, “Please God, make it cold, cold, cold tonight.” With each step I take, my heart beats faster as the excitement wells up in me, “Oh Lord, this is going to be good!” And, when I put my hand on that door handle I’m almost jumping out of my skin as I think “Open Sesame!” Ah… God is oh so goo-oo-ood!!

Do you know something else that’s like that life changing, mood altering, sweet refreshing feeling… prayer. Stormie Omartian describes the POWER of prayer as “laying down all claim to power in you and of yourself, and relying on God’s power to transform… It (can be) a gentle tool of restoration… It’s a way to invite God’s power into your life.”

Today, I start month number eighteen of reading The Power of a Praying Wife. This book has taught me the importance and power of prayer, saved our marriage, and brought me closer to my heavenly father than I ever thought possible. If you don’t have this book on your bookshelf, I urge you to check it out. You won’t be sorry you did!

A huge thanks to Missie over at Thirsty for my new gift. Go check out her blog!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Domestic... sort of

When we were married almost two years ago, I didn't know how to cook anything other then pasta and the sauce was definitely out of the jar (don't tell my dad!). Let me back up... when we registered for wedding gifts I was way more into selecting exquisite fine china, cute pink and brown luggage for the honeymoon, and a vacuum then I ever was about mixers, casserole dishes, and dutch ovens. I could have cared less what came into the kitchen as long as it was the right color and could be stored nice and neat.

I did get a book full of recipes at my mother-in-law's shower but I was more into the sentimental value and stories behind the chosen recipes; I wasn't too interested in using them for heaven sakes!

Now, here I sit at the kitchen table smelling the white chicken chili I whipped up after work, simmering on the stove top as I wait for my cupcakes to cool so I can fill and frost with the lemon strawberry frosting sitting in the fridge made from scratch... WHAT?!?! Who is this girl, how does she know what to do with the *fabulous Magic Chef a few feet away and she made what from scratch? *still more interested in the decor then really what it does

Yes, the girl who never asked her mamma a cooking or baking question and only stayed in the kitchen long enough to clean dishes is turning domestic and loving every minute of it!

Oh... and did I tell you that the cupcakes are a healthier version of lemon drop cupcakes. Thanks to Katie at Dashing Dish I'm learning healthy alternatives!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's time for a change... for REAL

After I hit my new decade, things sort of went ‘wrong’ with my body, appetite, and metabolism and I’m so confused. Before exercising was something that I did to pass time; now it’s a necessity if I want to fit into my clothes. Before I didn’t worry about what I ate, if I was snacking too much or how many sweets I enjoyed; now I need to be mindful of what I put into my mouth.


Lysa TerKeurst, one of my virtual mentors, wrote an amazing book MADE TO CRAVE and challenged her readers to “satisfy your deepest desire with God, not food.” *the wheels start turning… maybe I need a change*

A few weeks ago my best friend came for an overnight visit. She shared with me that just after Christmas, she saw a picture of herself opening gifts with her family that made her cry for days. When she was pregnant, she didn’t pay attention to her eating habits and never exercised. A year and a half later, she’s never lost the baby weight and was continuing to make unhealthy choices, leading her down the wrong path. She’s joined a gym where she works out two or more times a week, she’s counting calories and being mindful of her ‘sweet tooth,’ and she’s got a great support system as she journeys to take off the weight and stay healthy. She looked absolutely great when she came to visit. *okay God, I hear you. I know, I need to change… but maybe next week*

I start my own little challenge with Jillian Michael’s; the 30 day Shred is kicking my butt! *I'm on the right track*

Courtney at Women Living Well, another amazing Christian woman who inspires me weekly, and Brittany at The High-Heeled Housewife have both joined in on the 65 Days to Reshaping It All challenge. *I NOW know its God’s third attempt at knocking… time to answer the call*

Let me be honest… I L-O-V-E every little (and big) thing sweet on this planet! My sweet tooth is almost never satisfied and always, always amazes my husband. It is such a good thing that he doesn’t enjoy chocolate as much as I do or we would be fat, Fat, FAT! I love the Lord with all my heart and want to grow stronger in my relationship with him, being an obedient daughter. It’s going to be a struggle to put down the chocolate and walk away, especially as I’ve just learned my love for baking, but I know that for a healthier and happier home, I need to make a change.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 6

So, good old Jillian Michaels is kicking my butt into shape… literally! In level one, she has us doing these things called butt kicks and if you get really into them, you will kick your own butt. I’m sure that it is funny to observe because it is funny to watch them.



Okay, but now to the ‘how am I doing’ phase of this post. I absolutely L-O-V-E this workout! As I said it is tough, there’s definitely no denying that. I was so stinkin’ sore on Easter Sunday that it was almost embarrassing walking into church with my lovely dress and heels on. I made Matt go extra slow. After Easter dinner and cleaning up, I played Frisbee / Kooshball catch with our nephew and almost fell into the tv stand because I could barely move my legs. It wasn’t exactly torture to be almost immobile because I knew my muscles had been worked hard the day before and things were changing. We came home from my in-laws and all I wanted to do was snuggle on the couch with my boys, but I drug myself upstairs to complete day 2. And I thought day 1 was hard… doing the workout with sore muscles and Easter dinner in my belly was H-A-R-D. But I completed level one with high intensity again, no backing down, and felt awesome afterwards. I may or may not have fallen asleep on the couch at 9:30, poked a few times for snoring & ruining his movie (love him)!

I left my workout bag at home on Monday so there was no getting to the gym on my lunch hour. I’ve been able to get home from work, prepare dinner, pop in the video to work out while it’s cooking, then eat with my husband. So far that system seems to work well and I’m hoping to make it a habit.


Monday night at small group I got a few compliments on how well my arms looked. The girls who saw me on Friday were a bit shocked at the change in just 3 days. SCORE, this is working! Day 3 and 4 workouts were just as great and I can see results already! I stopped being sore by Tuesday afternoon, my clothes are already fitting a bit better, I can feel my muscles still working as I sit at my cube, and I think that my butt is looking a bit cuter. Like I said, it’s getting kicked!!

I moved to level two yesterday; it’s going to be a while before I can master that and get to level three. I was drenched with sweat (something that doesn’t normally happen) and needed to hop in the shower before even considering saying ‘hi’ to the hubs. My energy level is up, I feel great, my communication is more thought out and logical, I’m not shrugging my shoulders as much, and my confidence is slowly creeping back. I never knew just how much those extra few lbs affected everything about everyday life.

All of these positives after just 5 days, I have only one question for you… what’s holding you back from making a change in your workout routine??

Saturday, April 23, 2011

30 day challenge

Today, I started a 30-day challenge, partially because the weather is getting warmer and I can't keep hidding the extra lbs under sweaters and partially because the past few weeks I've been L-O-S-T emotionally.
So, I borrowed the 30 day shred from my friend Jessica and today was the first workout. I started on level one, like it suggested, and I feel awesome right now. I didn't stop or lower my intensity the whole 20 minutes (I know, that doesn't seem like a long time). Jess tells me that I will be sore tomorrow and I definitely agree with that. My muscles were working hard even during the cool down. My plan is to do my weekday work outs in the company gym during my 'lunch hour' and then Saturday morning and Sunday after church. Today starts the prayers that this schedule will work!
Today is also just a little under one month before the next session of GMG starts. My other challenge is to read through one more book of the bible before that starts. I would like a shorter book so that I can read a few verses a day, going through the S.O.A.P method again, nice and slow. I'm going to start with 1 John. I need to put together a reading plan...

Father God... I need your help!

Monday, March 28, 2011

stressed on a Monday...


“…oh what a week! If you could see my house right now, you’d probably be embarrassed for me. And my kids, thank goodness they are on spring break because I just can’t make one more... WHAT! Its 4:30; dinner?!?! Oh, do you see all of the dishes piling up and you want more to dirty more. I most certainly haven’t had my quiet time today… and there’s more frustration Ugh… why when life gets a little busy is that usually the first thing to get on the back burner...”



Have you ever been her? Thinking there was no escape or place to refuel? Looking at the “to do” list and realizing not one thing got scratched off! It hit me today that taking time the sit down with our bibles and the Lord can be difficult when schedules get the best of us. But, after reading James 5:13 I believe that God totally knew it would be hard for us at times, (...we have a big ol' enemy working very hard at it). "If you are having trouble, you should pray!" I believe this because he doesn't say, "If you are having trouble, clear your schedule and take a time out with your bible in a quiet place, away from it all." No, he simply says P-R-A-Y!! Come to me my child. I will help! And then, “when you're feeling good, you should sing praises to the Lord.”


He knew it would be hard. He's giving us the option of raising the white flag. Then, He says "when we get through this together, let's celebrate!" Remember he sent Jesus and gave us a wonderful gift; His grace! For those of you how need it today, keep your head up and don't get discouraged by the enemy. Turn to Him and soon you’ll be singing praises with a smile on your face :c)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Homemade Tote by Freckles & Fun

Look at this really cute tote Julie made! She is such an inspiration to me that I wanted to share her blog, hoping that she'll encourage you too.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Top 2 Tuesdays... Relationships


Top 2 Things I've learned about relationships…


1. You need to work, like it’s a second job, for a relationship. My best friend’s parents told her this the night she and her husband were married and it is something that I’ve carried into my own marriage. It had never been more evident to me than now, as there are quite a few marriages failing all around us. The good things are worth fighting for. And the really great things, well they leave you with bumps and bruises, but yield a blessing beyond even the wildest imagination!


2. Have a servant’s heart. This is something that I’ve recently stumbled across as we’re reading The Five Love Languages and I’m trying, so hard, to put it into practice. I want my husband to feel loved, worthy, and blessed and having a giving heart ruling my actions is far greater then a selfish hard ruining the evening.

Friday, March 4, 2011

TGIF

Today, I need a PICK ME UP. Enjoy some of my favorite blogs, restaurants, and music

P I C K  M E  U P
(click on each letter)

 
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Choosing Faith over Fear

Courtney at Women Living Well has challenged me this past year I've spent in 'blogger land' and today is definitely no exception. I've been working on a stronger relationship with God, reading his word, blogging about my experiences, and talking to friends virtually and face-to-face.

Yesterday, I fell and I fell HARD. I chose not to read the verses laid out in my GMG reading plan and just do what I wanted. All I could think when I got home was "if Matt's not going to fill my love tank then I certainly won't go out of my way to fill his." Oh, what am I saying? Why would I want to make the man I love feel unworthy? Why would I want to tear him down?

Today, I was convicted. As soon as I opened up to James 3:14 I knew God was speaking about me so I should listen. Selfish actions yield cruelty towards others. Bitterness, jealousy, & selfishness are all earthly, nonspiritual, & demonic emotions (YIKES!). Get it out of your heart and mind. Turn from selfish desires. Run, sprint to Jesus, proclaim his name and stake on your heart and life so that the enemy will flee.

Oh Lord, please remove this sin from my heart. It hurts others & causes separation from Him... why would we want to give into that? Why would we chase that instead of chasing Him? I am asking God to create in me a clean heart, continue to show me how to protect my heart & mind, & teach me to fleefrom the devil, the traps that he sets, and RUN into God.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

goodies on a yucky day

Tonight, I'm watching the timer on the microwave count down and I'm getting SUPER excited. I'm making cup cakes for work tomorrow... so why am I so excited about this? This is the third 'dish' I've made since I got home from work tonight. The first was dinner: chicken piccata (Grandma's recipe) with sauted Italian mushrooms and side salad. Then, while I was waiting for Matt to get home, I worked on the second which was my great uncle Leo's crumb cake; I think that I even used the same bowl and pan that my grandma used when she made them! Now, I'm tackling the strawberry cupcakes... and, I've got out an icing bag and sprinkles to cover the top.

Oh, how I wish that I had a working camera so that I could show you the tiny kitchen I've completed all of this in, the greatest oven God ever made (thank you Grandma Koch), and the mounds of dishes waiting to be washed or put away. Not to mention the fabulous crumb cake sitting next to me. I can't wait to dig in.

All of these goodies and I have a huge smile in my heart, which is a totally blessing from God because today was RID-IC-U-LOUSLY hard for this hot tempered girl to get through. Oh, and I'm also listening to the Christian contemporary station on Pandora and God is filling my heart, my soul, and my mind. *Oh, What Love Really Means by JJ Heller... filling my heart just like on Sunday* 

Tonight, as I look at those last few dishes that need to be taken care or when I make lunches for tomorrow or when I mess up a few of those cupcakes (as I know I will), I will be relishing in the fact that I am pursued and loved by my heavenly father, I am worthy and considered His prize, and one day, I will be free from pain and sin and standing with Him.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Persistence in Christ

Persistence means the act of persisting.


To be persistent means to continue steadfastly or firmly, to last or endure tenaciously, or to be insistent in a statement, request, or question.

This word has been on my mind all morning which I’m assuming has to do with my reading last night ; “No matter how ‘good’ you may be, the only way you can ever be made right with God is through faith in Christ. And no matter how ‘great’ a sinner you may have been, His grace is sufficient for you.”(Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss). Now, you may be scratching your head thinking, ‘and, why does this remind you of the word persistence?’ Re-read it; ‘no matter how good you are (no matter how long you last or endure, no matter how firm you stand, no matter what you do), you can’t ever be good enough without Jesus Christ. No matter how persistent you are, you alone aren’t going to cut it. For a girl who’s dwelling on her insecurities right now, that stings! But wait… there is another part to this… in the same respect, no matter how unfaithful or weak I am, no matter how quickly I crumble, no matter how I falter, ‘His grace is sufficient.’

It doesn’t matter what I do, good or bad, God loves me. He died for me. And, (best part) he is persistent in his pursuit of me!